20 Clarifying Shampoos Gentle Enough for Curly Hair

If your hair feels like it’s stopped responding to all of the moisturizers, stylers, and products you’ve been using, it may be time to take the first step in many curly girls’ journeys to healthier hair by occasionally using a clarifying shampoo that’s gentle enough for curly hair. A good clarifying shampoo can do wonders for your scalp and curly hair, but it’s important to distance yourself from their shampoo bottle. If your hair has a built-up layer of product residue or silicones sitting on the surface, your curls simply won’t look their best. In order for your curly hair products to work well, your hair needs to absorb them.

Clarifying shampoos & sulfates

According to cosmetic chemist Tonya McKay, sulfate-free shampoos are gentler and can effectively remove most dirt, oils, and silicones from the surface of the hair. However, in order to remove buildup of ingredients like silicones from the hair, clarifying shampoos can contain sulfates such as sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate.

What about natural sulfates?

According to cosmetic chemist Erica Douglas, also known as “Scientist Sister,” it does not matter whether the source of the alcohol is a harmful surfactant or a natural source. Ultimately, it is not necessarily good for your hair to be derived from natural sources or oils that are known to be the most drying and harshest sulfates, such as sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate.

Do you live in an area with hard water and a hot climate? How often do you swim or exercise? Your hair’s dryness largely depends on your lifestyle and factors such as where you live and how often you clarify it. It’s important to use clarifying treatments sparingly as they can often dry out your hair too much.

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Whether you decide to utilize sulfates when you clarify is entirely your choice, we have both alternatives listed below!

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1. Hair Story New Wash (Deep”>

If ingredient transparency is a priority for you, then this is the perfect brand. It provides detailed information about each ingredient’s EWG rating, including those present in very low concentrations that are not usually disclosed (and not mandated by law). Hair Story’s New Wash effectively cleanses curls using essential oils and fatty alcohols instead of detergents, effectively eliminating dirt and grease. The comprehensive ingredient list displays each and every component utilized.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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2. EDEN BodyWorks Papaya Castor Scalp Cleanser

If you struggle with a conditioned scalp, try using a cleanser that can help. The Bodyworks EDEN scalp cleanser not only removes dead skin cells and buildup from your hair, but it also balances the pH level of your scalp and helps to maintain moisture in your curls. This will promote the growth of healthy curls from the start.

Free of sulfates? Absolutely.

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3. Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

This cleanser is perfect for adding texture and volume to fine or thin hair. It contains botanical extracts that gently cleanse your hair, and if you love volume, you will definitely love this cleanser. It is the winner of the Best Curlies Award and is enriched with pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes, which delicately cleanse and enhance curls.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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4. Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo

Clean Come shampoo, another award-winning choice of Editors’, is a sulfate-free cleanser that is gentle enough for everyday use. It helps remove dulling buildup and keeps your scalp moisturized and balanced with the use of sea kelp and white willow bark extracts, as well as orange and Mandarin extracts.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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5. Baking soda

Some curls have a lot of success with this natural cleanser, as they find that the highly acidic nature of ACV strips their hair of its natural oils. It is typically paired with an acidic rinse, like apple cider vinegar, to re-close the hair cuticle. Baking soda is a popular DIY clarifier due to its high pH of 9, which works to open your hair cuticle.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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6. Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo

This shampoo is 100% natural and organic, with ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and others that moisturize and cleanse the hair. We have a team of editors who love experimenting with different types of hair, and as a result, we have won several Choice Editors’ awards.

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No sulfate? Absolutely.

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7. TRESemme Clean & Replenish Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Sometimes, such as once every month, certain individuals with curly hair find it advantageous to utilize a sulfate-based shampoo. However, this clarifying shampoo is not an exemption as it only costs $0.22 per ounce. Tresemme has always been renowned for providing great value for your money. It’s important to note that this particular shampoo does include Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

Not sulfate free? No.

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8. EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo

If you become addicted to the tingly and cool feeling of cleansing, you will find your hair left feeling soft and clean with this shampoo. The ingredients in this botanical cleanser make it an exhilarating treat for your shower, containing either tea tree oil or peppermint.

Free from sulfates? Absolutely.

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9. DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum

You can use the pointed applicators that come with this shampoo to apply it only to the scalp, as it acts as a magnet to attract and remove buildup and dirt from your hair without stripping it. This popular skincare ingredient acts like a magnet to attract and remove buildup and dirt from your hair without stripping it. The first brand to incorporate water micellar into their formulas was DevaCurl, but now more hair brands are doing the same.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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10. Elucence Volume Clarifying Shampoo

We love this award-winning Editors’ Choice winner because it delivers two sought-after benefits – voluminous hair and a clean, exfoliated scalp. The formula contains Willow Bark extract, which helps remove any residue that weighs your hair down, while also purifying your scalp with other ingredients that lift and body achieve from the roots.

Not sulfate free? No.

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11. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse

Even though this shampoo comes at a lower price point, it will still protect your hair’s pH balance, seal the cuticles, and prevent breakage. You won’t find petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones, or sulfates in this formula.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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12. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

If you don’t have a nearby Joe’s Trader, Amazon is available to kill the price point that you also love, with a price tag of $3.99. Curlies love the tingling sensation that you get from the eucalyptus and peppermint tree tea. It’s all in the name, the tingling sensation that you love from the tree tea.

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Free from sulfates? Absolutely.

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13. Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo

In order to maintain your hydration, you may consider utilizing a profound moisturizing therapy prior to or following the utilization of this product. It is efficient for sporadic purification to eliminate accumulation, although we would not suggest employing it on a daily basis. Those with curly hair adore this shampoo with a pH balance because it is remarkably affordable and readily accessible.

Not sulfate free? No.

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14. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

This shampoo was formulated to help regulate and balance the pH level of your scalp, while also promoting hair growth with the aid of black Jamaican castor oil and apple cider vinegar. It is specifically designed to nourish and support hair that has been styled with heat or chemically treated, including color processing.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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15. Bentonite Clay

Curlies can create a DIY bentonite clay mask that is extremely absorbent by mixing bentonite clay powder with either water or apple cider vinegar. When this naturally occurring clay is mixed with water, it effectively eliminates positively charged buildup from the hair.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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16. Giovanni Eco Chic 50:50 Balanced Hydrating & Clarifying Shampoo

This shampoo is gentle enough for hair that has been environmentally treated, color-treated, and stressed from being overworked and dry. It leaves the hair feeling clean with a balanced pH, and it is also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and does not contain any animal by-products.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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17. Lorraine Massey’s Lemon Aid

In her book, you can discover further information about this formula, along with Lorraine’s additional preferred do-it-yourself projects. Administer it to your hair and subsequently wash it away. Merely mix together the extract of a substantial lemon with the quantity of hair conditioner that you usually employ. She asserts that it is “more purifying and purging than any cleanser.” Lorraine Massey, the writer of The Curly Girl Handbook, employs this hydrating and counteracting do-it-yourself formula to eliminate residue from her curls, enhance luster, and safeguard it from harsh water.

No sulfate? Absolutely. (if your conditioner is sulfate-free”>

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18. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment

This sulfate-free scalp clarifying treatment not only helps to ease scalp irritation and itchiness, but it is also formulated to rid your scalp of minerals, hard water, chlorine buildup, and product residue.

No sulfate? Absolutely.

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19. VO5 Herbal Escapes Kiwi Lime Squeeze Clarifying Shampoo

When deciding between the two options, it ultimately depends on personal preference, and it is frequently mentioned in conjunction with the Suave Naturals shampoo due to its comparable qualities. Primarily because of its affordable price of less than $2, this product is also well-liked among members of the NaturallyCurly’s Curltalk forum community as an effective clarifying shampoo available at drugstores.

Not sulfate free? No.

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20. Girl+Hair Clarifying Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

This gentle clarifier uses ingredients like rice water and apple cider vinegar to thoroughly but gently remove buildup and repair damaged hair without stripping moisture from the follicles.

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